You and your family were finishing up a delicious dinner at the Fair Oaks Silver Diner when you overheard two truckers discussing their hauls. Both of them looked absolutely exhausted, and as they rubbed the sleep out of their eyes, one told the other that he still had 100 miles to go before he could sleep, while the other mentioned that he couldn’t stop until he reached Springfield, Missouri.
As you watched them slowly sip their coffees and periodically try to stifle yawns, the only thing you could think of is how they would mange the drive and why couldn’t they just take a few hours rest before getting back on the road?
Truck Industries Quash Safety Rules to Increase Profits
Like all companies, the truck industry’s main purpose is to make money. To accomplish this goal, it isn’t above sacrificing safety and the health of its employers. The truck industry is even occasionally willing to put you and your family at risk as long as its profit is secure.
A common way for truck companies to increase profits while maintaining a low overhead is by forcing their employees to work dangerously long hours. By making them work 12-, 15-, or even 18-hour days, greater volumes of cargo can be moved in less time, thereby boosting profits.
Driver Exhaustion: The Physical and Economic Consequences
Unfortunately, this tactic has catastrophic consequences:
- Driver fatigue results in over 100,000 accidents per year.
- Sleep deprivation doesn’t only put the driver’s awareness at risk, but his health as well.
- With increased accidents, comes increased traffic and taxpayer costs.
- Economic effects soar when drivers “burn out” or can no longer take the long hours.
Solving the Issue
On June 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation implemented the Booker Amendment to a Senate’s Appropriation Bill on Truck Safety. The law seeks to uphold important hours-of-service safety rules to reduce fatigue among truck drivers by ensuring that they’re not forced to work over 70 hours per week and have the opportunity to get two nights’ sleep during their limited time off. However, the truck industry is fighting this rule, claiming not only that is it not needed, but that it could seriously affect the industry itself.
According to Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), a chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, some truck companies have been undercutting the previous federal mandates that limited driver operation to 14-hour days, making this new amendment even more dire for implementation and enforcement. The need to decrease truck accidents and fatalities is the highest it has ever been, and needs proper attention.
According to Trucking Industry, Regulations Are Too Tough
The trucking industry is trying to rally support to relax these tougher regulations in the interest of “public safety,” by claiming the rules will require trucks to be on highways more often during rush hours, increasing the potential for accidents. The amendment is currently being upheld until more research on optimum driving times can be established.
Do you agree with the Senate’s amendment, or do you think that truck companies should be able to set their own hours for their employees? Let us know by posting your opinion in the comment section below, or by sharing this page and your opinions with your friends and family on Facebook or Twitter. Remember to “like” our page as well to receive periodic updates on truck safety and accident claim rights.
Injured by a Negligent Truck Driver? Contact Shevlin Smith
Are you a victim of a trucker fatigue accident? Let us help you get the treatment and justice you deserve, by allowing us to give you a free consultation about your case. We’re so confident we can help, there’s no risk for you. Call (703) 721-4233 today.